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#1 Pink Begonias

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:45 PM

Hello all,

We are new to Amersham and I am sorting out school applications for my daughter. Our local school will be Chestnut Lane. She will be transfering into year 2 so fingers crossed for a space! If not then Chesham Bois is our second choice.

Please could anyone give me some info on these schools? The ins & outs and all that. My daughter has had a problem with a male teacher who is quite intimidating (even for parents!) Are there any male teachers in Chestnut Lane or Chesham Bois?

Thanks for any help.

#2 Rob75

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:44 PM

Could be quite an academic question, if you pardon the pun.

Have you asked bucks admissions where spaces are likely to be available?

#3 HP6

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:58 PM

It sounds like your application comes under the In-Year Admissions Scheme, and, as the previous poster has said, is likely to be determined by the availability of places.

I personally have no reservations about either school (although you will likely find a range of views on both). Chesham Bois is combined, with one class per year, and some male members of staff.


Chestnut Lane is an infant school with two classes, so you would be back on the admissions trail for Key Stage 2 entry in 2013. I’m not aware that there are any male members of staff.

I’m sorry that you and your daughter find it difficult to get on with her current teacher. I hope you find something that suits you all.


(Without making the issue personal, and perhaps I’m reading too much into your post, but I don’t think gender alone is relevant in determining a teacher’s competence or a choice of school).

Good luck.


#4 HP6

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:53 PM

Before any wag gets there first.

"Blah, blah etc. ....unless you're applying to send your child a single-sex school".

#5 Pink Begonias

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

Thanks for your replies so far.

She is current year one and is probably going to stay where she is for the rest of the school year as we have been advised that it is unlikely places will become available. Then it all depends for September for year 2. If a place came up sooner (we are on the lists) we would obviously take it. She is very nervous of being with a male teacher and I wouldn't compound an already difficult change for a little one with this problem so in our case yes it is part of the decision making process.

I guess given this it is really some low down on the pastoral care given in the school that I am interested in knowing about.

#6 Sunday Night

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:01 AM

I would suggest that the only way to be sure would be to visit the schools and ask the head teachers the specific questions that you have.

I have friends with children at both schools. All are happy enough, but none of the children have specific issues and love going to school. Of the two schools, Chestnut Lane comes across as being on the lower end of the pastoral care scale and I do know that some parents find communication with the school a little difficult.

In terms of pastoral care, again from listening to friends, St George's has got to be heads and shoulders above the rest. However, the headteacher there is a man, but an inspirational head with the best interests of the children and parents at the fore. If I was chosing a school again, St George's would be at the top of my list. I have only heard good things about it. There is, I believe a place in Year 1 there now. A child in my friend's daughter's class left at Christmas.

In terms of her issues with male teachers, in my opinon, this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. If it is as serious as implied, it might suggest that the teacher needs to be addressed.

The reality is that she is going to come across men in all walks of life including friends fathers, sports clubs, swimming and school - the workplace. The head of the girls' high school is male, as is the head of Chesham Grammer.

#7 Rob75

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

Then it all depends for September for year 2. If a place came up sooner (we are on the lists) we would obviously take it.


Do you know what position you are in on the waiting list? And without wanting to sound too pessamistic, I wouldn't expect that the position in September for year 2 is very likely to be any different to the position now - ie you still need people to leave to make the space available (which I don't think happens to any great extent).

#8 cathindia

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:09 PM

I have children at Chesham Bois (Years 3 and 6) and St Georges (Reception). We moved to the area in September. My daughter (year 3) took a long time to settle. She doesn't like change. But Chesham Bois were excellent at supporting her and helping find ways to help her cope. So she is now really happy there. My youngest started at St George's. (There was not space at Chesham Bois). I can only echo a previous poster to say that the care and support given there is excellent. It only goes up to Year 2, so it is really focussed on the younger children. My son loves it there. They have plenty of space and a lovely ethos. But only you know what it right for your child. I would really recommend visiting the schools and talking to the head teachers. It will give you a much better feel as to what will be right for your child.

#9 Milton

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:38 PM

We're very happy parents of a child who is very happy at Chestnut Lane, and have experienced none of the problems Sunday Night mentions above. Indeed, I would go as far as to suggest we are actively happy with the pastoral care and education the school provides. That probably goes to show that seeking other people's opinions on something as subjective as the softer qualities of a school (ie those that are hard to measure quantitatively) is likely to give you as many answers as people who answer! It's my view that cathindia has it right-go and have a look yourself.

It's perhaps worth re-iterating what others have said, and what I'm sure you've already sussed, which is that CL & CB are very different schools. CL is a 2 form entry infant school (60 children per year) and children there have to apply to move on to another school for Yr 3. I believe almost all go on to neighbouring Elangeni primary (I certainly hope so, at any rate!). CB is a 1 form entry all-through primary school from yr 1 to yr 7. This means they have quite different feels to them, in my opinion at least.

Look on the bright side-hopefully you will have a choice of good schools for your child-if not now because of being a bit out of sequence then in the future. If she does end up at Chestnut Lane we'll look out for you since she'll be in the same year as our daughter.

#10 PaulEden

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:46 PM

Perhaps I'm not reading the thread properly, but it's a shame that teacher gender is such an issue. The head at St Georges is a man, but he's (I hope he's not reading this) not your archetypal bloke. He's a very gentle man and quite modern. I'm not putting this at all right, but he would seem to be poles apart from the 'intimidating' teacher you describe earlier. On that subject - if I ever felt intimidated by a teacher, I'd be straight in the headmasters office!

I'd be really wary of letting my experiences with one male teacher taint my view of all male teachers. With one or two exceptions, all the teachers that influenced me greatly were male. I have them on facebook right now.

#11 astroboy

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:22 PM

I have a child at Chestnut lane and he has been very happy there. I would say there is quite a bit of homework though. In terms of pastoral care I haven't noticed any. There aren't any male teachers but there is one male class assistance. I have to agree with a prevoius post that sometimes the communication can be a bit unclear but if you approach the staff they are more than happy to clarify any concerns. If you want to ask me anymore questions feel free to pm me.

#12 Milton

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:20 AM

Doesn't a very happy child suggest effective pastoral care, rather than an absence thereof?